PURIFYING GOWANUS CANAL

PURIFYING GOWANUS CANAL

Brooklyn is at last to be relieved of its greatest nuisance. The Gowanus canal, the malodorous atmosphere from which has for many years filled the nostrils of the thousands who reside in its vicinity, is to be purified, if such a thing is possible. The great engineering feat that has been in progress for the past four years at a cost of $1,000,000 is about completed, the gigantic pumps are ready, and Borough President A. E. Steers expects to begin extracting the filthy slime from the canal bottom in a short time. Under the tremendous force of these 400-horsepower pumps the slimy fluid will move toward the head of the canal, while behind it the purer waters of the Atlantic will flow in to cleanse and sweeten. Through a tube more than a mile long the Gowanus will rush with speed accelerating, whirled half way on the journey by the blades of a 9-foot wheel, which will beat any solids it may contain into foam, and then on again to the East river, to be there flung into the deep channel and swept with the tide out to sea.

The mighty bore, 12 feet in diameter and 6,282 feet in length, has been constructed. The engines are in place to give power to the driving wheel; electrical engines to be driven by purchased energy, and only a few finishing touches have to be given here and there to make the tunnel ready for operation. Two years of preliminary planning have been followed by four years of actual work, and nearly $1,000,000 of city money has been expended. There are men with gray heads who remember, away back in the days of their youth, the beginning of the public agitation against the Gowanus canal nuisance. The walls of the old public hall in Court street have heard, time without number, the angry protests of indignant property owners who felt the effect of the blight. Despite all this the nuisance became worse. Factories increased along the timberbuttressed banks of this unpleasant estuary Sewer mouths were opened into the head of it. They emptied into the already foul waters the drainage of a great and populous section of the city. The tide just gently rocked it; it never emptied of the mess it held, and never filled with fresh water. It lay there in summer heat and winter cold, but particularly in summer heat, a great offensive serpent through a fair valley, with a breath that was a compound of all evil odors.

Back in 1905, after the city had spent thousands of dollars in a vain effort to dredge out this mudhole, the combined complaints of residents and business men had its effect on the city authorities. Engineers had been seeking some way to remedy the evil without closing up the canal and incurring the enormous expense that a condemnation of the property of “vested interests” would entail. The suggestion that was of value came from Milwaukee. The Milwaukee river was as like the Gowanus canal as one pea is like another, it was said, and yet the Milwukec river had been changed into a pure stream of sparkling water. It had been done by introducing tbe waters of the lake into the river above the city by means of a tunnel. Martin W. Littleton was then president of the Borough of Brooklyn, and when John C. Brackenridge. his commissioner of public works, recommended to him the adoption of the Milwaukee plan, he went to the board of estimate immediately with an appeal for funds. Behind him was the sentiment of South Brooklyn, hopeful at last.

On March 31, 1905, the board of estimate and apportionment authorized the expenditure of $750,000 for this work. Bids upon the contract were solicited, and the contract was awarded to John Pierce, on November 27 of that year. It was well into 1906 when a gang of builders began to erect a timber shack in the middle of Degraw street, at Tompkins place. In this shack machinery was assembled, and the neighborhood soon began to rock with the throb of it. From the floor of the enclosure a shaft was driven downward, the earth being drawn off on trolley flat cars run down Degraw street upon temporary tracks. The shaft was driven to a depth of 65 feet from the street surface. At the foot of the shaft the human moles who were to dig the great burrow made for themselves a round chamber. They found a soil of loose sand and gravel, and there was a conference of the engineers. It was determined at last that the compressed air method was the best to use with such soil as they found. Into the shack at Tompkins place and Degraw street, therefore, loads of machinery were hauled and fitted together into a powerful compressed air plant. Soon its throb began to shake the houses nearby, as it drove 30,000 cubic feet of air a minute down into the shaft.

Two immense shields and fourteen hydraulic jacks were lowered into the chamber, and the headings were started One was westerly toward the East river, the other easterly toward the canal. Before any progress was made in either direction, however, a backing for the jacks had to be found, a fulcrum for the great levers that were to drive the shields ahead. So they lowered bricklayers and masons, and they built a short section of this 12-foot tube, with a 16-inch thick lining of hi icks. Against this they backed the jacks, and thus steadied, they began to push the shields. It was no gentle touch they gave them; the pressure on every square inch of shield was 4,000 pounds. The brick supports wouldn’t stand it. Under the tremendous strain they buckled and cracked. The moles stopped in their work, and there was another conference of the engineers.

“What did we do?” says Chief Fort. “Why, when we found that the fresh brickwork wouldn’t stand the strain we set in a heavy cast-iron ring the same diameter as the tunnel, into which the toothing of the brickwork was cast. Strong circular ribs made of steel angle iron were then set inside the brickwork at the rear of the shields. Behind these ribs we placed stiff lagging, and we laid the brickwork against it. The tail of the shield provided a support on tbe outside of the brickwork. The iron ring distributed the pressure of the individual jacks about the circle, and with the pressure thus evenly distributed the brickwork stood up. It was very simple.”

So a new band of craftsmen began to people this cavern. Iron workers with their forges, riveters with their pneumatic hammers, these joined the bricklayers with their trowels and mortar boards and tbe sandhogs with their picks and shovels, and the electricians with their rubber gloves, in the cavern. All the time there was being pumped down among them the 30,000 cubic feet of air a minute, making a pressure of from 8 to 14 pounds to the square inch. The air pressure in the hole was not as great as one might expect from the volume of air that was sent down into it every minute. A good part of that 30,000 cubic feet was driving back water that would otherwise run in through the loose sand and gravel and fill up the headings. It caused commotion in every direction, perplexing innocent tenants of houses, who marvelled at the in their cellars.

The shields drew apart, the one east hound the other westbound. As the distance between them lengthened the city inspectors watched the walls that were built between, watched the cement that was being used in the mortar, measured diameters, counted brick courses and made out their daily reports of progress. These the chief engineer kept under his eye, and as he read them day after day something attracted his attention. He drove to Degraw street and, clambering into the bucket was lowered into the shaft. He walked along the heading, his glance running slowly over the brick work. He noted the thick sweat on its face and the trickling, tear-like streams that ran down to the bottom of the tube. He called the contractor’s engineer and told him there was a leak. Grout pumps with a pressure of 150 pounds to the square inch were lowered into the headings, and under this pressure the cement was forced into the brick work. It was a pretty stiff pressure, but it did the job. The brick walls leaked no more. Instead of the water spurting in the cement spurted out, driven through the gravel in which the moles were burrowing, it sought open places everywhere. Wherever it found a break in a pipe underground, water, gas or sewer, it entered and choked up the pipe Foot by foot the work went forward until the tube came out under a dock at the East river, and a water gate was built there. The eastern heading came out two feet under low water level at the head of the canal at Butler street, and there another water gate was installed. The big bore was finished.

Meanwhile there had been an adidtional appropriation made of $200,000, for the operating machinery had to be installed. This was to consist of a big wheel electrically driven by a 400horsepower electric motor, and the machinery necessary for its operation. The original plan had been to carry the East river into the tunnel at the head and drive the foul water out into the bay. This the engineers changed. Chief Engineer Fort tells why.

“It was thought better to pump out of the canal than into it.” he says, “because the principal source of pollution is at the head, and this water will be immediately removed from the canal through the tunnel. If water were to be pumped into the canal, the polluted water would be pushed down toward its mouth and would form deposits all the way. It is also thought better to create a current in the canal from its mouth toward its head, because boats usually pass up the canal loaded and out of it empty, so the current will be of some assistance to the water traffic, especially where the channel is narrowed by bridge abutments. If the current is toward the East river, it will be possible to make new connections for sewers and also to dump snow and ice into it. The street cleaning department will tell you how important that is in the cleaning of the streets of the South Brooklyn section.

“From an engineering standpoint the principal benefit that will be derived from the change arises in the fact that the roof of the tunnel is submerged only 2 feet at low tide, while the fall in the surface of the water throughout the length of the tunnel, due to skin friction, when the machinery is in full operation, would be about 3 feet 9 inches. If, therefore, the whole tunnel were to act as a suction tube the upper portion of the wheel might be playing in air. The pressure would be greatly reduced at any rate, and the efficiency would be reduced correspondingly. In order to work perfectly under those circumstances the tunnel would have to be airtight. There are openings in the gates adjacent to the wheel and other apertures which would not allow of its acting as a suction tube.”

The tunnel, 12 feet in diameter, runs from the head of the canal, down Butler street to Hoyt, through Hoyt street to Degraw, down Degraw to the East; river. It is 1,062 feet more than a mile long. It has cost $900,000; $789,041 for the tunnel. $104,356.10 for equipment, and the balance for extra expenses. It is made of brick and cement. It will be operated by means of a wheel 9 feet in diameter, driven by a 400-horsepower motor, using 1,000,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year. It has a pumping capacity of 500 cubic feet a second, and will therefore move 323,136,000 gallons of water every day. This is three times the quantity of water the canal holds.

The effect of its operation on the canal will be to purify the water of that estuary and make it as clear as the waters of New York bay. Its effect upon surrounding property cannot be calculated. There is one effect as to which city engineers are curious. The present bulkheads of the canal are of timber resting on timber piles. These piles have been in the water for years, subjected to the rotting action of all kinds of chemicals. They hold up while there is no current in the canal. When a current is created, however, it will begin to pull at this timber work and repairs and restorations will be necessary. It has been officially suggested that the dock department, with a view to this contingency, adopt a dock plan for the Gowanus to comprehend stone bulkheads. As permits are granted for restorations made necessary by current action, the provisions of such a plan could be enforced upon the owners of the private property along the waterfront and the city saved the expense of bulkheading.

New Way of Laying Water Mains.

In laying 10,000 feet of water pipe at Tuscaloosa, Ala., the contractor hit upon the idea of putting the pipe together above ground and lowering it into the trench after the joints had been made in the usual manner, which work is generally done after the pipe is in place. The scheme was resorted to as a measure of economy and was entirely successful, much to the surprise of many persons who had some experience at contracting and who had predicted the failure of the plan. The sections were put together in lengths of 120 feet, and the joints caulked in the usual manner. Then by means of derrick, equalizers and tongs, was lowered bodily into the trench. When a test of the pipe was made after the completion of the work, it was found that there were but two leaks which might be attributed to defective joints, so that the experiment was pronounced a success.

School For Johnstown Firemen.

The school for firemen established by Chief L. M. Keller, of Johnstown, Pa., recently, is now showing its benefits, and the work of the men each morning at the quarters of truck company No. 1 is very interesting. The school combines a thorough knowledge of the apparatus with enough exercise in handling it to keep the muscles of the men hardened and fit for any demand made by duty. The course of “study” is varied each morning. One time the men will lay a 30 foot ladder, weighing 125 pounds, on the street one end resting against the curb. Then they will take turns raising it, rung by rung, until the ladder stands upright. Then they lower it in the same manner. Foot races, over varying distances, are pulled off every few days. This is to benefit the firemen’s wind. Again a ladder is placed against the truck building and the firemen go up and down as fast as they can, carrying a large chemical tank. This is good for both muscles and wind. One of the hardest “stunts” and one that is absolutely necessary for the firemen is the work with the mammoth truck housed at the first ward quarters. This wagon carries a 60-foot extension ladder, which would prove of great benefit at a fire in the business district. On such occasion there would be a possibility that any member of the department working at the fire would be called upon to assist in handling the ladder. So every member has been taught all there is to know about the big wagon. There is a knack in “catching a plug”; that is, to drop off the back of a chemical wagon with the end of a hose when a hydrant is passed, and make a quick connection. To make every man familiar with such work, trial runs are made from the truck company. An alarm is sounded on the house bell, the horses run under the harness and are hitched up, the men swarm on the wagon and a run is made to the hydrant near the high school building. Generally Chief Keller is waiting there to time the men in their work, and he acts as instructor. The usual teacher, however, is Captain Kazamek, of the truck company. Every morning one man from each company reports at the truck company at 9 o’clock for instruction Every member of the fire department has gone to school about six times since the “college was opened, and all are becoming proficient in their studies. The result is noticeable, and the benefit has proven so great that the school will be continued indefinitely. The men appear in better health and physical condition from the exercise, and are more proficient in the handling of appaartus, even though the older members have received actual experince through work at many fires.

Elizabeth Fire Department Report.

The annul report of the fire department of Elizabeth, N. J., shows that the city had more fires during 1909 than during the previous year, although the loss was decreased 50 per cent., due directly to the efficiency of the fire department under Chief Aug. Gerstung. During the past year the department has been equipped with an automobile for the use of the chief, making a great improvement to the department. The statistics of the building inspector shows such an enormous growth in the city the past few years that the present number of apparatus in the department is not sufficient for the proper protection of the city. The commissioners endorse the recommendation of the chief that additional fire stations be built, that two motor fire engines be bought, that all fire alarm wires be placed in conduits, that the antiquated fire alarm bells and whistle be eliminated, and that auto chemical wagons be substituted for the horse-drawn vehicles now in use. In recommending auto fire engines the commissioners and chief submit statistics from other departments showing a great saving wherever they have been adopted. There has been no addition to the department in the lower section of the city in thirty years although the population has increased 90 per cent., and the chief advises putting an auto engine there.

The department’s normal force consists of 59 permanent men and 30 call men, as follows: Chief of department, deputy chief of department, secretary, department machinist, relief engineer. 6 captains of engine companies, 2 captains of truck companies, 6 engineers, 6 drivers of engines, 2 drivers of combination wagons, 4 drivers of hose carriages, 2 drivers of trucks, extra driver, chief’s driver. 14 hosemen of engine companies, 6 laddermen of truck companies, 2 extra men at headquarters, 24 callmen of engine companies, 6 callmen of truck companies. The appa-

ratus is as follows: One second-size steam fire engine, 5 third-size steam fire engines, 2 first-size combination chemical engines and hose wagons, 4 four-wheel hose reels, capacity, 800 feet each; 1 65-foot aerial hook and ladder truck, 1 secondsize city hook and ladder truck, 1 automobile for chief, 1 four-wheeled buggy for deputy chief. 4 four-wheel exercise wagons, 1 four-wheel supply wagon. There is also the following reserve apparatus: 1 third-size Button steam fire engine No. 7, in good order; 2 four-wheel hose reels, in good order; 2 four-wheel chief’s buggies, at headquarters, in good order; 1 four-wheel chief’s buggy, in use by police department; 1 second-size city hook and ladder truck. There are 32 horses in the department, and 11,900 feet of hose, all of which is from fair to good, except 716 feet. The fire alarm system has 78 street boxes and 15 private boxes, making a total of 93. During the year 13 double outlet Corey fire hydrants were installed, making a total of 424 now in use.

The year 1909 was a record year of the department since its organization, having a total of 286 alarms, 162 bells, and 124 stills. The previous record being in the year 1909, a total of 277 alarms. There was one second alarm fire, two third alarm fires; two out-of-town calls, and ten false alarms during the year. Six of the alarms spread to the adjoining buildings, but, through the good service of the department, none of the fires got beyond the adjoining building. The number of false alarms has decreased 60 per cent, during the past year: this decrease is due to the fact that the penalties have been more enforced. The total loss received and estimated during the year was $60,124.29. The insurance on property risk was: On buildings, $863,280; on contents, $151,425; total, $1,014,705; excess insurance over loss, $954,580.71.

CHIEF AUGUST GERSTUNG.

A remarkable feature of the 286 fires is the fact that more than a score were attributed to incendiarism. It cost $80,126 to maintain the department last year, $52,150 having been paid out in salaries.

Promotions in the Boston Fire Department.

Acting Fire Commissioner Carroll of Boston, Mass., evidently intends making the remaining period of his administration memorable. Although the mayor has named Charles D. Daly as fire commissioner, the present commissioner will have the mayor’s approval in whatever action is taken. Within a week three captains have been advanced to the rank of district chief, three lieutenants to the grade of captain, and 12 engineers, laddermen or hosemen to the grade of lieutenant. In addition to these changes, District Chief John O. Taber has been transferred from Dorchester to South Boston; the outlying sections of the city proper, redistricted; and a new district created. The new district chiefs are Captains Maurice Heffernan, John W. Murphy and John Madison; the new captains. Lieutenants Daniel J. Shaughnessy. Avery B. Howard and Michael Boyle; and the new lieutenants, Engineers Harry E. Richardson, Joseph W. Shea, McDarraugh Flaherty, Jacob Hyman, Chauncey R. Delano, Charles A. Fernald, Thomas Wyllies, John J. Sullivan. Charles A. Donohue. Bernard J. Flaherty, Patrick H. Kenney and Phillip A. Tague. The general opinion seems to be that the selections were excellent ones.

Boston Attacks Fire Problem.

Mayor Fitzgerald, of Boston, has addressed the chamber of commerce, the Board of Fire Underwriters and the finance commission of that city, asking for co-operation in carrying into effect five lessons which may be drawn from the recent disastrous fire in the South End lumber district. The mayor tells the chamber that the grounds of its opposition of the last two years to the installation of a high-pressure water system were not conclusive, and he hopes that it will reconsider it in the light of the lessons taught at the recent fires. The mayor suggests the strengthening of the laws relating to wharf construction and those concerning building in general, the establishment of a supplementary fire-alarm service, and additional men for the fire department. The city engineer’s office is already at work on estimates for the extension of the high-pressure plans from the business district. The actual needs of the fire department personnel is at least 100 men, says the mayor. The department suffered several severe losses in the partial destruction of its repair shop and several pieces of appartus, and the council will also be asked to make good these losses. Definite plans will be submitted for the location of the secondary fire-alarm system. The communication of the mayor to the chamber of is as follows:

Dear Sir—The recent fire in the lumber district has brought before the public and the business interests of the city the question of the adequacy of the protection afforded by the laws, the apparatus, the fire-fighting force and the general system now in use in Boston. As you have been made aware, only theabsence of a wind of high velocity prevented the water-front fire of August 9 from spreading into the adjoining residential district and involving in its course the destruction of perhaps hundreds of homes. No criticism has been passed upon the fire department for its management of the situation, which was worthy of all praise, but the limitations and handicaps under which its members were obliged to work have suggested several improvements in what may be called the general fire defense of the city.

  1. The high-pressure water service, for which the late City Engineer Jackson had drafted plans covering the business section, might be extended to the south end by means of a pumping station, suitably located, and pipes and hydrants effectively distributed throughout the main streets. Although your chamber has expressed itself as opposed to Senate bill No. 360, introduced at the session of 1909, and House bill No. 975, introduced at the session of 1910, the grounds of your opposition were not conclusive, and it may be that you would reconsider them in the light of the lessons taught by this dangerous fire.
  2. The laws relating to wharf construction might well be strengthened. Experience has proved that the presence of great piles of dry lumber in exposed situations on the water front constitutes a standing menace to adjoining property. and it is a question whether such material ought not to be at least partially segregated or insulated under laws similar to those governing the of inflammable compounds.
  3. The threatened destruction of the central station of the first signal system has suggested the creation of a reserve or duplicate system, which would maintain the necessary connections in the event of any disaster to the central station.
  4. The perennial question of the adequacy of the present building laws and the maintenance of a just equilibrium between the rights of individual property owners and of the public at large, might well be made the theme of fruitful discussion at this time.
  5. An increase in the membership of the fire department had already been proposed by the acting fire commissioner, who believes that the absence of so many firemen on vacation, and the consequent reduction of the effective firelighting force, justifies his contention and illustrates the need of an addition to the present force. In his opinion fully 100 more firemen are required, and the additional expense would be more than offset by the increased security guaranteed and the actual saving of property, espefires.

I would respectfully ask your chamber, through one of its committees, to give such time as it may find convenient, to the consideration of these various matters.

Meterage.

St. Louis, Mo., has 6,631 water meters in service. Of these, 2,234 are of the Mersey pattern. 1,972 of the Crown, 1,192 of the Worthington, 538 of the Keystone, and 528 of the Trident.

Because inspectors have found many persons breaking the rules of the water department, city authorities of Dallas, Tex., are considering the immediate installation of meters. A large supply is already on hand, and it only remains to be determined whether the city will assess the cost of meters or levy a regular quarterly rental.

Of the 7,476 services in use in Akron, O., 3,062 are metered, at an average expense to the company of $12 each. This does not include settings, which have not been paid for by the company. The new metered services are almost entirely and 3/4-inch, which require the smaller and cheaper meters, costing the company from $7 to $8 each. Therefore, even if the company should hereafter pay for setting, the total cost of metering the remaining 4,414 unmetered services would not reach $12 each, so that $60,000 is a safe estimate for metering the present unmetered services and the new services that will be added during the next ten years.

The waterworks department of Springfield. Ill., is considering the installation of meters in all buildings now on the free list. A minimum rate would then be charged for all water used.

An ordinance has been passed in Springfield, O., fixing the salaries of the meter repairer, and of the meter inspector at $900 and $780 per annum, respectively.

Residents of Houston Heights, Tex., object strenuously to being compelled to purchase and install meters and are considering the construction of a municipal plant, in order to escape the order.

A proposition has been made for the reduction of the minimum meter rates in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Albany, N. Y., has 3,460 water meters in use, 375 having been placed during the past year. Receipts from regular water rents amounted to $215,703, from special water rents $26,892, from excess water meter rants, $6,278, making a total of $248,873.

Jamestown, N. Y., with a population estimated at 32,000, has 6,886 water services, and 2,795 meters. About 30 per cent. of its daily pumpage of 3,062,700 gallons, is accounted for by meters, which are being installed at the rate of 12 a day. It is reported that this work will continue until all the consumers paying a flat rate of $12 and over per annum are metered.

The installation of meters is advocated by the officials of the Spokane, Wash., water department and the rates as now adjusted by the city council encourage their installation. Of the 20,564 taps, 1,739, or 8.5 per cent., are metered; although most of the large services are thus equipped, only about 8 per cent. of the pumpage is thus accounted for.

New Meter Seal.

The International Seal and Knot Protector Company, of 136 and 138 West Twentyeighth street, New York city, are the inventors and manufacturers of an automatic seal for water meter. This device fills a long-felt want among the cities and towns throughout the country using water meters, as there has always been in such places tampering with them. The seal is inexpensive and can be used on any kind of a meter, and it works automatically. A child can apply it. yet the skilled crook cannot remove it without detection. No meter department in any city is complete without this device. The above cut shows the seal as applied to the Trident meter. Some of the large cities throughout the country, including New York city, are using this seal.

NEW METER SEAL.

Water Bids Opened.

COLUMBUS, O.—The following bids for furnishing cast-iron pipe and special castings have been opened: United States Cast Iron Pipe and

Foundry Co., New York. $24, $23.25 and $55, $53; James B. Clow & Sons, Chicago, $25, $35 and $50; Lynchburg Foundry Co., Lynchburg, Va., $23.85 and $50.

CARBONDALE, Colo.—The contract for installing system from source 7 miles distant has been awarded to Geddes & Co., at $27,000.

CANAJOHARIE, N. Y.—The following bids have been opened in connection with the installation of a municipal system: For furnishing 10 miles of 8, 10 and 12-inch pipe and three tons of castiron specials, Michigan Pipe Co., Bay City, Mich., $40,977.54, and A. Wyckoff, Son & Co., Elmira, N. Y., $38,607.65. The contract was awarded to the latter. For 350 tons of cast-iron pipe and 5 tons of specials, Charles Millar & Son Co., Utica, N. Y., bid $8,535.70; United States Cast Iron Pipe Co., New York, $8,597.96; Donaldson Iron Co., Emaus, Pa., $8,911.28; R. D. Wood, Philadelphia, $8,964.59. Contract awarded to Chas. Millar & Son Co. Bids for laying 10 miles of 8, 10 and 12-inch wood stave pipe, distribution reservoir, laying 1 1/2 miles of 12-inch cast-iron pipe and the necessary appurtenances to the work, were W. G. Gooddle, Schenectady, $50,896.48; B. G. Coon Construction Co., Wilkes-Barre, Pa., $58,321.59; John C. Tierney, New Jersey, $70,248.27; Thomas Bove & Co., Rome, $70,507.53; Weller Boughton & Co., Troy, $49,860, and the contract was awarded to Weller Boughton & Co.

DENVER, COLO.—The contract for constructing a proposed extension to the city distributing syshas been awarded to the Holme & Allen Pipe and Construction Co., at $14,142.

DYSART, IA.—The National Construction Co. has been awarded a contract for constructing the new municipal system at $18,045. The city will supply material.

EAST DUNDEE, ILL.—Bids have been opened for furnishing and laying about 12,840 feet of 4 and 6-inch cast-iron pipe with 30 hydrants, 23 6-inch and five 4-inch valves and the contract awarded to C. H. Iglehart, of Chicago, at $10,094.

EMPORIUM, Pa.—The contract for constructing a reservoir and laying 3 miles of 12-inch castiron pipe has been awarded to Applegate & Son, of Alliance, Ohio, at $40,000.

GREENFIELD, MASS.—The contract for the construction of an auxiliary reservoir on Rocky mountain, the bids for which were announced in FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING for August 24, has been awarded to Daniel O’Connell’s Sons, of Holyoke, Mass., at $30,000. The contract for cast-iron pipe and special castings was awarded to R. D. Wood, of Philadelphia, at $22.95 per ton or about $19,000.

MACOMB, ILL.—The following contracts been awarded in connection with the new system: For one compound duplex engine, capable of pumping 1,000,000 gallons of water in 24 hours, the Platt Iron Works of Dayton, O., at $946, and for constructing smoke stack and installing two low-service pumps the Pittsburg Filter Co., of Pittsburg. Pa., at $1,225 and $1,050.

NORTH PLATTE. NEB.—The Secretary of the Interior is said to have awarded a contract to the Pittsburg Valve Foundry and Construction Co. for valves for use in regulating the discharge of water from reservoirs in several northwestern irrigation projects, at a total of about $35,000.

RUSHVILLE, IND.—The contract for one Ingersoll-Rand compressor displacement pump was awarded to the Latta Martin Pump Co., of Hickory, N. C., at $1,080. The contract for the construction of a tank and tower and for laying 4,600 feet of 1 1/2 and 5-inch pipe was awarded to the Flint & Walling Manufacturing Co., of and $1,100.80.

SAN FRANCISCO, CAL—The contract for testing, hauling and laying pipe in connection with the Mission district auxiliary supply has been awarded to Oscar S. Levy, at $52,000.

WASHINGTON, D. C.—The following bids have been received for furnishing 5,224 feet of 26-inch riveted steel pipe and 5,224 feet of 36-inch riveted steel pipe: Riter-Conley Manufacturing Co., Pitts burg, Pa., $4.10 and $5.48; T. C. Eggleston, Denver. Colo., $6 and $8.40; and Manning, Maxwell & Moore, $4.80 and $5.65. The pipe is to be used in connection with the reclamation service.

WAVERLY, O.—The contract for constructing a standpipe, with connections, has been awarded to J. H. Barr, of Batavia, at $4,354.

XENIA, O.—The contract for the construction of a water softening plant has been awarded to the Northern Water Softening Plant Co., of Madison, Wis.

Fire Bids Opened.

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.—The contract for an auto truck has been awarded to the Gramm Fire Apparatus Co., of Bowling Green, O., at $3,350 On this will be placed the body of one of the combination hose and chemical wagons already owned by the city.

CHESTER, PA.—The Combination Ladder Co., of Providence, R. I., has been awarded a contract for furnishing a 55-foot truck.

CINCINNATI, O.—Chief Archibald recommends the acceptance of the Amcrican-La France Fire Engine Co. bid for furnishing a 2-horse ladder truck at $2,290.

HARTFORD, CONN.—The contract for furnishing a hook and ladder truck has been awarded to the American-La France Fire Engine Co., at $5,000

LANSING, MICH.—Contracts for 500 feet of hose have been awarded to H. D. Edwards & Co., of Detroit, Mich, and to the Bi-Lateral Hose Co., of Chicago, at $1.10 foot.

SCRANTON, PA.—The order for a Buick automomile squad wagon has been placed through the Scranton Automobile Co., at $2,347.

SAN ANTONIO, Tex.—The contracts for constructing a fire house on Prospect Mill and one on South Prisa street, the bids for which were announced in FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING for August 31, have been awarded to August Draeger and H. C. Jones at $3,950 and $2,796

SPRINGFIELD, MASS.—Bids for the construction of the new fire department headquarters building have been opened as follows:

A. E. Stephens & Co., New York City… $83,105

Casper Ranger, Holyoke, Mass………. 85,010

Daniel C. Shea, Springfield…………. 89,000

L. H. Scott & Co………………….. 92,464

M. Maloney………………………. 92,658

Daniel O’Connell Sons, Holyoke ……. 92,834

W. A. Newton & Co., Sprinfietd……… 93,800

W. H. Falvey & Son………………. 94,000

Joseph G. Roy…………………….. 94,162

J. F. Walls & Son…………………. 97,780

The contract was awarded to A. E. Stephens & Co.

SOUTH ORANGE, N. J.—The contract for constructing a new fire house on Maplewood avenue has been awarded to George Brown, at $2.574.99. The next lowest bid was $3,265.

SHERIDAN, N. Y.—The contract for supplying a chemical wagon outfit has been awarded to the Amcrican-La France Fire Engine Co., of Elmira, N. Y.

SAN JOSE, CAL.—A contract for 800 feet of Amazon fire hose and two hose carts, for use in East San Jose, has been awarded to the Gorham Rubber Co., at $882.

TUCSON, ARIZ.—The contract for supplying 1,000 feet of fire hose has been awarded to the Anderson Coupling and Supply Co., of Kansas City. Mo., at $1.10 ner foot.

WASHINGTON, D. C.—The Hose Co., of New York, has been awarded a contract for furnishing 600 feet of 2 1/4-inch suction hose, at $720.

BERKELEY, CAL.—The contract for supplying a combination hose and chemical automobile has been awarded to the Scagrave Co., at $5,600 through the Gorham Co.

Owning its own water plant, the city of Houston, Texas, is charging just half the rate charged under private ownership, is giving first-class service, and clearing $100,000 a year for the three years since the city bought the plant. This statement was made by J. J. Pastnriza, a capitalist of Houston: “The city three years ago

bought the plant for $1,000,000. Within a year the water rate was chopped in two, and the city was clearing $100,000 a year at that figure. All of the income from the water plant is put into improvements of the plant, and now Houston has one of the best systems in the country.”

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